July 2021 - ICBA

WELLNESS WEDNESDAY #6: Signs of Emotional Burnout

Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out icba.ca/wellness for details.

We’re on to Month 2 of our Wellness Program, and the theme is depression and anxiety. To start us off, we watched a video from TopThink outlining three components of emotional burnout:

  1. Emotional exhaustion
  2. Depersonalization
  3. Reduced personal accomplishment

In other words, the video says, people can’t give 100% to work or relationships, they start acting like a different person, and they struggle with motivation and self-perception.

I imagine there are many people feeling this way, especially given the COVID-19 isolation we have just come through. We have all been living in a heightened state of anxiousness for a long time, which has significant effects on our ability to process. In doing a little more reading on this, I came across this explanation:

Burnout may be the result of unrelenting stress, but it isn’t the same as too much stress. Stress, by and large, involves too much: too many pressures that demand too much of you physically and mentally. However, stressed people can still imagine that if they can just get everything under control, they’ll feel better.

Burnout, on the other hand, is about not enough. Being burned out means feeling empty and mentally exhausted, devoid of motivation, and beyond caring. People experiencing burnout often don’t see any hope of positive change in their situations. If excessive stress feels like you’re drowning in responsibilities, burnout is a sense of being all dried up.

I’ve never seen it described that way, but it makes sense to me.

ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 50 companies, and thousands of construction professionals, better understand mental health. The program is free for ICBA members — see icba.ca/wellness.

TRAINING THURSDAY: Construction Contracts and Time Management

Kerry and Jordan discuss two upcoming live webinars: one that will save you money, and the other that will save you time.

Construction Contracts in Canada – What You Need to Know and What’s New (Webinar)
Friday, July 9th, 2021 – 11AM to 12:30PM

Getting construction contracts right is critical to the success of any construction project. To get it right, you need to know which contract form is best for your project. You also need to understand the terms of your contract and what they mean.

In this webinar, we review forms of construction contracts typically used in Canada and the key terms. We will also review, in detail, the new CCDC 2 (2020) standard form contract so you will be up to date on the latest in construction contracts in Canada.

What You Need to Know
– Types of Construction Contracts
– Key Issues

What’s New
– New CCDC 2 (2020) Fixed Price Contract
– CCDC 30 (2018) Integrated Project Delivery Contract

Presenters: Rosalie Clark, Scott Lamb and Satinder Sidhu of Clark Wilson LLP



Time Management Workshop (Live Online Training)
July 21-22, 2021 | 8:30AM to 12:30PM both days

What is the one thing everyone needs more of? Time! If time is money, how much is lost to the bottom line simply because hard-working employees “don’t have the time”? When working on a project, timing is essential. If you get behind on one part of the project, the entire thing can be set back hours, or even days. ​

In this leading-edge Time Management Workshop you will gain a new mindset, skillset and toolset that will optimize your personal productivity learning how to produce greater results in less time. Improved time management skills mean increased productivity, met deadlines, and a positive impact on all aspects of your business.

​Benefits of Attending

  • Participants learn how to gain and keep control of competing priorities, concurrent projects and critical deadlines.
  • Participants will learn powerful lessons about themselves, enhancing self-understanding so they can leverage their personal strengths and develop strategies to minimize the impact of their weakness.
  • The focus on practicality means that people walk out with ideas and techniques they can apply the next day.

Instructor: Greg Campeau has delivered over 2,400 presentations and workshops throughout North America providing strategies and solutions that support both personal and organizational success. He has established a client list that includes organizations like Finning, Lafarge, NHL Coaches Association, BC Hydro, Rogers Wireless, APEG BC, SNC Lavalin, Klohn Crippen Berger and many more. ​

What previous participants said:

  • “Good eye opening information. Real focus on how to change and not what you are doing wrong.”
  • “Great speaker – very dynamic.”
  • “I found things to change and reinforcement of things already in place.”
  • “Excellent instruction, very interactive, and lots of collaborative discussions. Very thought provoking!”


CONSTRUCTION MONITOR: Building the Workforce of the Future, Today

The Summer 2021 edition of the Construction Monitor is online HERE.

More than ever, work­ers are looking for the choice and opportu­nities that come from flexible work arrange­ments. In construction, we have an especially intense competition for talent, along with an acute shortage of trades training spaces and escalating material prices. The result is rising construction costs and an unparal­leled affordability crisis.

That’s why the B.C. Government’s recently announced return to compulsory trades is more than a head scratcher. This new cer­tification regime will do nothing to address the need to find more workers, or any of the other real challenges facing construction contractors.

It’s a result instead of hoping that the policies of yesterday will address the chal­lenges of today and tomorrow. And, let’s be clear, this is not about improving the quality of the work performed by B.C. construction workers. Projects are designed by the best in the world, highly regulated, effectively per­mitted and thoroughly inspected.

The government also announced that it will set ratios of the number of ticketed tradespeople who must work with an apprentice. This added bureaucracy fails to account for the dynamics of complex con­struction projects. It removes the flexibility that contractors, supervisors and workers need to get the job done, and will limit the number of workers entering the trades.

What will be served by mandating reg­istration for apprenticeship programs when the wait list to get into schools is generally a year, often two and sometimes more? How did we end up in this place? Govern­ment failed to engage in broad industry consultation. The contracting community, including ICBA and the majority of con­struction associations, was simply not at the table.

We need to build better workplaces in construction, attract more people to the trades, train them more effectively and become more innovative. Instead, govern­ment is missing the mark. We can do better for workers and for contractors.

The Construction Monitor is a quarterly ICBA publication providing ahead-of-the-curve information and statistics on the BC construction industry and issues relevant to it. Check out some of our recent issues:

ICBA MEMBER PROFILE: Smith Fuel Services Ltd.

The following ICBA Energy member profile ran on EnergyNow.ca on July 12, 2021.

Smith Fuel Services is celebrating 45-years of service in the North Peace region of British Columbia.

As part of their 45th anniversary, they would like to send out an enormous thank you to the community of Fort St. John and the North Peace based businesses and residence for the many years of steadfast support!

Smith FuelSmith Fuel Services Ltd has operated as a locally owned business in the Fort St John / North Peace area for more than 4 decades.  Currently owned and operated by David Smith, the business was established in 1976 by his father, Mike Smith, a long-time resident of Fort St. John.

“Dad started the business in 1976 with one truck,” said David.  When Fort St. John went through tough times in the early 1980’s, Mike continued to seek out new customers and markets, temporarily downsizing operations until markets improved.

David has been involved in the business from the very beginning, becoming actively involved in 1979 when he began driving trucks and performing mechanical duties during the winter months.

In 1985, David began working full time for the business, starting at the bottom and working his way up to the administration of the business.  Ten years later, in 1995, David purchased the business from his Father, Mike.  Smith Fuel Services has continued to experience significant growth and is running more efficiently than ever today.

Their service, longevity and commitment to the community are the reasons their clients keep coming back. “We’ve been here longer than any other bulk plant or agent in the area, and people like stability.”

Their mission at Smith Fuel Services is to represent Husky Energy / Cenovus as a good corporate citizen, ensuring a commitment to good customer relationships, environmental protection, and a positive image in the community, supporting local organizations such as the Child Development Centre, 4-H, Minor Hockey, Peace Country River Rats and more.

What they do:

Smith Fuel Services are a COR certified fuel supplier, suppling bulk fuel and lubricants to the oil & gas industry, farmers, construction and other local industries and residents. They have a well established rural cardlock network, servicing the workforce and cardlock card holders in the Fort St John / North Peace resource areas.

Additionally, they offer access across the nation though the ESSO Key to the Highway cardlock network. They also have double walled tanks for sale and rentals, fuel skids and VP Racing Fuel products such as C-12 and U4.4.

Smith Fuel Services welcomes you to call or visit their facility for your fuel, lubricants and more. For more information, call 250-785-3466 or visit them online at www.smithfuelservices.com.

WELLNESS WEDNESDAY #7: 5 Types of Anxiety

Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out icba.ca/wellness for details.

Anxiety is a familiar experience for me, but I had no idea there were different types of it, which made this week’s reading very interesting. It makes sense, of course: while we use a blanket term like “anxiety,” there will be different ways it’s experienced — and why it’s come on. Here are the five types of anxiety:

  • Generalized – worrying excessively and uncontrollably about daily life events and activities
  • Social – nervous or uncomfortable in social settings
  • Panic disorder – unexpected and repeated panic attacks
  • Post traumatic stress disorder – after being exposed to a major trauma
  • Health – can result in somatic symptoms or conditions

We’re also learning how to support our co-workers when they are anxious. Learning about anxiety; being open and gentle when approaching it; involving colleagues in walks or activities; expressing empathy; and encouraging them to seek support. These are all things we can do to help make work a little better, and relieve anxiety in a colleague’s mind.

ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 50 companies, and thousands of construction professionals, better understand mental health. The program is free for ICBA members — see icba.ca/wellness.


OP-ED: Compulsory Trades Certification is a Step Backward for BC

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[et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text”]The following op-ed, by ICBA President Chris Gardner, first appeared in Business in Vancouver on July 12, 2021.

As we come to the end of the global pandemic, companies are facing the challenge of rethinking the workplace.

Construction contractors are no different – whether it’s on the job site or in the office, workers are looking for the choice and opportunities that come from more flexible work arrangements. The backdrop to all of this – an intense competition for talent, the acute shortage of training spaces in trades colleges, and the escalating prices for materials – is forcing upward pressure on construction costs and contributing to an affordability crisis the likes of which we have never seen before.

That’s why the BC Government’s recent announcement of a return to compulsory trades is more than just a head scratcher. Dubbed a “skilled trades certification” program, which sounds wonderful, it’s more red tape that will not solve any of the real challenges facing construction in BC.

Once a trade is included in this new program, anyone working on a job site in that trade must either be a ticketed tradesperson or a registered apprentice. Premier Horgan admitted the significant impact of this policy when he said it would be a “big change for workers and employers.”

Imposing compulsory trades is like saying, ‘we don’t really need bookkeepers, everyone must be a CPA,’ or ‘nobody can prepare a meal in a restaurant except for a red seal chef,’ or ‘forget notaries public, we just need lawyers.’ It makes no sense in the real world and prevents entry-level workers from exploring construction as a career option and branching off into specialty paths.

What will be served by mandating registration for apprenticeship programs when the wait list to get into classes is generally a year, often two and sometimes more? Imagine the look on a young worker’s face when you tell them that it might take them more than a decade to complete their four-year apprenticeship program.  And, for many trades, there is only one school (located in the Lower Mainland) offering courses for apprentices. Not great for construction workers in the North, on the Island, or in the Interior.

The government also announced that they will soon be setting ratios of the number ticketed tradespeople who must work with an apprentice. This will require a new costly inspection and enforcement regime – a level of bureaucracy that is mindboggling. Worse, ratios will end up limiting the number of workers who will be able to enter the trades.

A 2013 study by the C.D. Howe Institute underscores the pitfalls of compulsory trades. It notes that rather than regulating “entry” into apprenticeship training – as compulsory trades does – governments should focus its oversight activities on quality of work and safety standards. It found that provinces that have imposed tight restrictions on “entry” into the trades were found to have 44 percent fewer workers in the trades than those without a compulsory approach.

The return of compulsory trades is the result of government looking in the rear-view mirror and hoping that policies of yesterday will address the challenges of today and tomorrow. And, let’s be clear, this is not about improving the quality of work – no British Columbian should be worried about the work performed by BC’s nearly 250,000 construction workers. It’s designed by the best in the world, it’s highly regulated, permitted, and thoroughly inspected.

Today, 85% of B.C. construction workers – and 82% of B.C. trades apprentices – have chosen to be open shop workers. And this takes many forms – being a member of a progressive union, joining an employee association, working at an employee-owned company, or being non-union.

So how did we end up in this place? Simply put, governments often do what they want to because they can. Every major study on this issue was ignored and government failed to engage in broad industry consultation. The contracting community was not at the table in a meaningful way, nor were the vast majority of construction associations. Even ICBA – the single largest sponsor of apprentices in the province – was left out of the process.

As we drive to build better workplaces in construction, attract more people to the trades, train them more effectively and become more innovative, government has just slammed construction into reverse.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column]

TRAINING THURSDAY: Performance Specifications for Roadway Construction and Maintenance (Webinar)

Kerry and Jordan discuss the 2021 ICBA Training Pavement Series.

Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021 | 1 to 2:30PM Pacific


The delivery of transportation infrastructure has transitioned from method to performance-based specifications. Method specifications relied on owner expertise to dictate the materials, equipment and methods to be used by a contractor to produce the product desired by the agency. In the late 1980s, agencies began to endorse end result specifications. Parameters outside of the specified ranges could result in financial penalties or a requirement to remove and replace installed product.

Agencies are moving beyond quality assurance specifications that specify end product quality to Performance-Related Specifications (PRS) that specify quality in terms of desired performance over the long term. PRS is helping agencies build better, longer-lasting roads and build them more cost-effectively.

Construction quality characteristics, such as smoothness, pavement thickness, air voids, and concrete strength, have been found to correlate with fundamental engineering properties that can predict performance. Performance related specifications describe the desired levels of these, or other, key quality characteristics and uses models to predict pavement performance.

One of the major benefits of PRS is the ability of a contractor to be innovative in achieving the PRS objectives. They can use PRS to improve their products and methods to meet the agency objectives without the need for approval of their means and methods.

This webinar outlines the progression of agency specifications and provides an overview of the steps necessary to adopt PRS. Examples of various types of contracts incorporating PRS as provide along with lessons learned in their adoption

  • The learning objectives of this webinar include:
  • Understand the evolution of specification systems
  • Identify the key components necessary to develop specification systems
  • Recognize the value of performance specifications
  • Avoid early age deterioration or failure of pavement assets
  • Understand the connection between performance specifications and transportation asset management

Instructor: David K. Hein, P.Eng.

David Hein is a consulting Civil Engineer with over 35 years of experience in the design, evaluation and management of pavement infrastructure. He recently retired from Applied Research Associates, Inc. of Toronto, Ontario. He is the past president of the American Society of Civil Engineers Transportation and Development Institute, long term member of the Transportation Association of Canada and has represented Canada on the World Road Association pavements and asset management committees since 2002. He has been involved in numerous national and international projects including many of the public/private/ partnership highway construction projects across Canada and the United States. Mr. Hein has completed numerous pavement design, evaluation and management projects throughout British Columbia including both design and management of the Sea to Sky Highway and is a regular instructor completing specialty design, construction and maintenance courses for the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation.